Happy Christmas to Las Patronas!
Posted on December 23, 2016
Earlier this week, my girlfriend suggested that sometimes I get to wrapped up in current affairs that can drag my mood down.
I have to be honest and admit that when Trump, Farage, and massacres at Christmas markets are on the agenda, it is a little bit hard to start your day in a positive frame of mind, especially with an obligatory Christmas cold and a mounting list of tasks.
However, as the depressing news stories scrolled down my Facebook and Twitter feeds yesterday, I did see an article that boosted my mood but did lend weight to Jennifer’s theory that the brain can only take on so much bad news coming out of our computer screens.
Her theory being we must understand bad news but take in some positive stuff as well, otherwise our brains will melt.
The article I read was about Las Patronas (meaning patron Saint) who are a group of women from a the town of the same name (La Patrona) in East Mexican state of Veracruz in Mexico.
Over 20 years ago, a train with a sinister title, ‘The Beast’ was passing through La Patrona when the Romero Vasquez sisters happened to be on their way home with the shopping. As the train passed young men were heard shouting ‘Madre, we are hungry’.
The Beast is a train that carries refugees through Central America as they try to escape for a better life, free from extortion, mass unemployment and murder. It is often an arduous and perilous journey, with starvation, illness and death not uncommon.
The sisters threw their bread and water to the passengers and returned home where they expected a right royal dressing down from their formidable mother, Dona.
However, their mother, helped them devise a plan. She told them, the family should cook up around 30 portions of rice and beans a day, to hand out as the train thundered past.
Over 20 years on, Las Patronas women are feeding hundreds of refugees on a daily basis, their kitchen is now like a production line and they have been given a host of Human Rights awards.
Life for the refugees is hard, travelling on the roof of The Beast, a girl recently fell and was cut in half and many of the young men are caught up in the bitter feuds of the vicious drug cartels as well as being persecuted by the authorities…the last thing they wanted to hear was Donald Trump getting into power in the US.
For them, The Beast, despite its appalling conditions and exposure to extreme heat, torrential downpours, disease and murder, is the only way out, yet all Trump can offer them is the tag of being rapists.
As so often in the world, especially in this time of alphamale morons like Trump, Putin and their arse licking, grubby little sycophantic toad, Nigel Farage, it is women who offer hope, kindness and charity to those who need it most.
The women took their name from the village they come from each day but to those who they feed, Las Patronas is even more poignant in the fact it means the patron saint.
I tried to make a donation but couldn’t find a way of doing it, so instead my Christmas card money this year goes to the Red Cross, so those who did send me a card, I hope this gesture will suffice.
Happy Christmas to you all, have a great time!